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3 Safe Pregnancy Exercises That Keep You Healthy in Pregnancy

Updated on June 29, 2020
Isivwe Muobo profile image

Farrah is a healthcare specialist who specializes in natural ways to improve health .

Safe Pregnancy Exercises at Home

Pregnancy exercises to do at home
Pregnancy exercises to do at home

Pregnancy Exercises

Pregnancy exercises are a great way to keep fit and are strongly recommended to keep both mother and child healthy.

However, the wrong exercise can do more harm than could as it see your baby possibly being less healthy or at risk of certain health complications.

Pregnancy Exercises Benefits

There aren't many sights as beautiful as a heavily pregnant woman waddling slowly towards you. The sight pulls at your heartstring, especially if you have gone through one or more pregnancies yourself and you find yourself sporting that knowing grin.

However, while you admire her, the pregnant lady likely doesn't notice you as she has quite a few things on her mind, chief of them being her baby's health and also how to cope with the discomfort that comes with pregnancy.

Most pregnant women however, learn to solve these issues easily by engaging in one or more pregnancy exercises all through their pregnancies.

One thing you should know though, is that while pregnancy exercises are great and come highly recommended, there are a few that are considered unsafe in pregnancy as they could negatively impact yours or your baby's health and wellbeing.

Women who exercised before pregnancy are usually encouraged to continue while pregnant as their bodies would already be used to most of this lifestyle. You should however check with your doctor before you begin any pregnancy exercise whatsoever.

That being said, here are some benefits of pregnancy exercises you should expect when you exercise:

Benefits of Pregnancy Exercises

1. Pregnancy exercises have been known to bring relief from regular pregnancy symptoms or discomfort like constipation, backache, insomnia, and bloatedness.

2. Exercising regularly improves your blood circulation which helps keep your baby active and healthy.

3. Pregnancy exercises help strengthen your baby.

4. These exercises gives you more energy and also help you maintain a fit body.

5. Pregnancy exercises release serotonin, the feel-good hormone that helps improve your mood.

6. Most pregnant women are known to slouch, especially as the pregnancy advances. However, carrying out regular daily pregnancy exercises have been known to actually improve your body posture.

7. Pregnancy exercises also tones your muscles and builds your stamina for labour.

8. Pregnancy exercises have also been known to prevent or improve gestational diabetes in pregnancy.

Who Shouldn't Exercise

Who Shouldn't Exercise
While pregnancy exercises are beneficial and come highly recommended, there are times when you shouldn't engage in them as they could pose more harm than good.

Here are a few instances when pregnancy exercises are considered unsafe and you should stop them completely if you notice any of these:

1. Stop exercising in pregnancy if you experience difficulties breathing.

In such cases, it might mean you are exercising way more than you should. To correct this, you should check with your doctor to get the right exercise plan for you.

2. Stop exercising in pregnancy if you start bleeding or notice fluid leaking and contact your doctor immediately.

3. You should also stop if you notice your heart palpitating.

4. Stop if you feel lightheaded or faint.

5. You should stop the exercising in pregnancy if you notice a reduction in your baby's movement.

6. You should stop if you suddenly experience a blurred vision or pains in your joints.

7. Avoid pregnancy exercises altogether if you've been diagnosed with any of these pregnancy health complications: placenta previa, threatened miscarriage, weak cervix, or high blood pressure.

8. Stop if you feel extreme fatigue.

Some Pregnancy Exercises You Should Completely Avoid

Carrying out the wrong exercises in pregnancy is dangerous for your baby.

Any pregnancy exercise that excessively increases your heart rate or which places your abdomen at risk of being hit, should be avoided.

Exercises in Pregnancy: Dos and Don'ts

Safe Exercises in Pregnancy
Exercises You Should Avoid
1. Swimming
1. Skipping
2. Brisk walking
2. Jogging
3. Stationary cycling
3. Full sit-ups

Some Pregnancy Exercises You Should Completely Avoid

Some pregnancy exercises are regarded as unsafe in pregnancy, even if you've been diagnosed with a healthy pregnancy. Here are a few of such pregnancy exercises to avoid:

1. Avoid all such exercises that require you to lie flat on your back especially as you approach your 16th week.

This is because, as your pregnancy advances, your baby's weight increases and could press against some blood vessels at this position, disrupting the free flow of blood to your baby.

2. Avoid exercises where you could get hit in the stomach.

3. Avoid all such exercises that are high impact and increase your heart rate.

4. Avoid exercises that would require a height of 2,500m and above as there is a decrease in oxygen at this altitude which could negative affect your baby.

Pregnancy Exercises at Home

Pregnancy Exercises that are Considered Safe and Healthy for Your Baby

1. Brisk Walking

Most people do not see walking as an exercise. However, this is one exercise that benefits every single part of your body.

It gets your heart rate moderately up, which is great for your cardiovascular health. It also tones your muscles and your joints, keeping you healthy.

When not pregnant, brisk walking or just generally walking at a pace that's comfortable for you helps control your weight, reduces your waistline, and also keeps your cholesterol and sugar levels in check.

As a pregnancy exercise, brisk walking is especially beneficial to your baby as it improves circulation and produces a baby with a better heart rate.

2. Swimming
Swimming is yet another pregnancy exercise considered safe. It is also highly beneficial for both mother and child and can be started as early as your first trimester.

Again, even though it is promoted as one of the safe pregnancy exercises to engage, you should check with your doctor before starting it.

Also, you should swim for no more than 10- 15 minutes, 3-5 times weekly at the beginning and gradually increase the time as the pregnancy advances.

3. House Chores
Again, house chores is not exactly considered a real exercise, but this can be a great pregnancy exercise as it keeps you active, which is highly important in pregnancy.

Being sedentary while pregnant will likely shoot up your blood glucose and also make you gain weight among other health complications, which is why any form of exercising whatsoever is important.

It also indirectly affects your baby as having a high blood sugar is bad for her health.

Also, although not proven, women who practised a sedentary lifestyle while pregnant have been known to have a longer and more painful labour as they would like the strength and stamina needed for labour and easy delivery.

To keep active, you should carry out your regular chores, taking breaks when you get tired or feel your legs start to ache.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Farrah Young


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    • Isivwe Muobo profile imageAUTHOR

      Farrah Young 

      14 months ago from Lagos, Nigeria

      Yea, swimming is one if he best exercises, especially while pregnant.

      Sadly, I cant swim to save my life! Lol. But i did the next best exercise, which is regular walks.

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

    • Lorna Lamon profile image

      Lorna Lamon 

      21 months ago

      This is a really good article - I really enjoyed swimming when I was pregnant as I felt so much lighter. I also practice yoga and incorporated a few gentle stretches into my routine when pregnant. Thank you for sharing.


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